Once again I sit here in the early morning to sit and write. I find my mind drifting to the wonders of language and thus will start today’s reflections there. In the first few days here at conference I have encountered the spoken word, and written word in many languages and have been greatly blessed. From the moments of joy as I walk pass people speaking languages I know not, to finding myself semi-understanding a schedule & list of locations for discussions that I was glancing at Saturday morning that was written in Spanish. (Knowledge of the schedule paired with extremely old and rusty 2 years of high school Spanish helped me out a bit), to prayers in many tongues, to… well many other encounters. I am very grateful for those who have the gift of languages and share in the conference experience through translation. They provide a wonderful gift through translating the spoken and written word into many of the languages spoken within the global body of Christ assembled here this week.
It brings be great joy to see signage, bulletins, announcements, and more in the three “official” languages of the church, French, English, and Spanish. It brings me sorrow when I see some signage only in English, though there is clearly room for all three. Is there not room above the Worshiper’s Path entrance for the word Sanctuary to be written in all three? Directional signs often in 3, but once at the destination often in but one…. The recycling posters saying what can and can’t be found in but English… It brings me joy to glance over and se the translators hard at work in the translation booths, and the American Sign Language interpreters upon the floor and upon the screen…
In worship services I have been greatly blessed as people shared in song and prayer in languages I know not, and yet in hearing them share have felt the Spirit deeply, felt the sense of oneness, of family. I found myself yesterday morning during the Communion service moved by the Spirit to a place of peace and healing as the prayer was read in German over the bread and wine by Apostle Bolton, now once again Seventy Bolton.
I have had the opportunity to sit near those speaking various languages, and marvel at the wonders and beauty of the many languages my sisters and brothers in Christ speak. And at times with the lack of language in common, still communicate understanding and meaning. Such as with my one brother came up to me and let me know I had left my USB battery pack behind where I had been working on Saturday’s photos. While the communication was perhaps as clear as that of two people who speak the same tongue, I understood and knew what he shared with me, and didn’t even realize fully the separation of language until a friend went “do you know French?” Blessed to be in community, blessed by diversity… I love my family made up of people who speak many languages, but from their heart all speak the language of the Holy’s Love, the Spirit’s Comfort, and Christ’s peace.
Seventy to Apostle to Seventy… In 2007 I stayed with the Bolton Family for World Conference. It was a great blessing to share with them and to be welcomed into their home. At the start of that week Andrew Bolton was a Seventy, one of the leading missionaries of the church, the forerunner’s of Christ’s peace. At the end of the week he was and Apostle and member of the council of 12. As an Apostle of Christ’s peace charged with leading the missionary efforts of the Church severing with the seventy. Now Once again I am in their home during conference, yet this time Andrew started the week as an Apostle, and now is once more a Seventy. As he shared his transition statement, much like when he transition to be an Apostle 9 years ago I felt a great blessing and pulsing of the Spirit within his words and wonder what the world would be like if all disciples of the living risen Christ embraced the call of discipleship with such strength, power, joy, and peace…Let us go into the world and heal this broken world, let us live to the fullness of who we are called to be, let us share the hope of Zion, the Peace of Christ, the love of the Holy One, and the comfort of the Spirit, with all….